9/06/2010

Race Time Predictors - which ones work for you?

Ran: 5 miles / 8 km - 46 min - easy run

Well, since I'm training for the New York Marathon (YAY!) I've been trying to figure out what my Marathon Pace could be. My only marathon up to date is the Swiss Alpine Marathon, and that's not really a race that can be used to predict the time on a next marathon. Unless that next marathon is the Swiss Alpine Marathon. And since the NYCM is not the Swiss Alpine Marathon, but a flat course marathon, my Swiss Alpine Marathon time is of no use.

I guess that I'm doomed to the Race Time Calculators on Google. I'll have to pace myself and therefore have to figure out what would be a realistic time goal. And those calculators do not really help - at all! Based on my current 5K, 10K and Half Marathon PR, these calculators/predictors tell me that I should be able to run a full marathon in 3:39, 3:43, 3:49, 3:50 (the one on the Runner's World website), 3:53, 3:56, 4:00 or 4:04. OK, so much for accurate predictions....(and so much for an attempt to BQ, that is).

So, I just decided on a marathon pace that's just a bit (a bit bit) faster than my 22 mile long run pace. And I'll just try to hold on to that pace on my marathon pace runs.

If Ryan Reynolds can finish the NYCM in 3:50, I should be able to finish under 4 hours, shouldn't I?



As long as I beat Mario Lopez at it, I'm fine...I guess. He looks extremely fit, but it took him almost 6 hours to finish the marathon. What happened? Did he meet the girl of his dreams somewhere around mile 12? He looks so fit!



What's your take on marathon time calculators? How do you figure out what your marathon pace should be?

14 comments:

T said...

Mcmillan, Mcmillan, Mcmillan! I swear by McMillan. Honestly, it's kind of creepy how that guy's calculator is able to predict my race times. It's like he's right there with me during training...

Silly Girl Running said...

@ T: OK, McMillan says 3:51, and I must add that the times for my 1K and 1 mile PR are spot on! Good news: McMillan rocks! Bad News: a. my PR's are from the beginning of 2010, so maybe a bit off, and b. BQ is out for the NYCM. Will give it another shot in Paris in April 2011!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Those prediction calculators are all over the place for me. I have finished a marathon in 3:32 and then 4:10, a lot depends on the day, the course, the mindset. On predictor has me finishing a 50k in 5 hours and change which would be great if the 50k didn't have 6000+' of elevation gain and loss!
So I think the longer your training run is that you used as the basis the better the calculator can predict. And if NYM is flat that will only be a factor if your mind lets it be one; i.e., super boring.
Oh and the photos. I agree that the outside packaging doesn't always reflect the actual fitness level of the person within!

P said...

I drive myself crazy with those predictors, too (I posted all the numbers and calculators on my blog a few days ago). I plan on just running as hard as I can for as long as I can and hope that brings me in under four hours.
Did you know that Will Ferrell ran a 3:56???

Silly Girl Running said...

@ Shelly: You're right; it also depends on the day. I guess I'll just have to set my mind to enjoying instead of racing the NYCM. I would feel awful afterwards if I missed cool stuff during the marathon!

Silly Girl Running said...

@ P: Thanks for commenting! :) I will look that post up on your blog! I will follow your strategy, I guess: I'll just go for it. :)

misszippy said...

Mario Lopez...blech! Anyhow--the calculators really are all over the place. I think the best predictor is a 1/2 marathon about 4-6 weeks out. Take that time, double it, add about 10 to 15 minutes and you're in the ballpark.

Ms. Duffy said...

1) I beat Mario Lopez. Woot!
2) I guess Will Farrell is a runner form way back, like in college. Page Six had pictures of him running in Central Park at some point.
3) Yes, McMillan is DA MAN
4) I've heard instead of doubling your half marathon an adding ten minutes, you should add 20 for NYC, given the hills at the end. Given you've run a mountain marathon, adjust accordingly.

Silly Girl Running said...

@ MissZippy: I have a half planned about 5 weeks before the mrathon, so that would be perfect! I actually planned on using that one as a pace work out, but I might as well give racing it a shot. :)

Silly Girl Running said...

@ Ms. Duffy:
1) Yay on beating the 'fit' guy! :)
2) OK, so there's no shame in being slower than Mr. Farrell; good to know! :)
3) I'll stick to McMillan! :)
4) Hmmm...20 minutes...that would mean 4:00; I would really have to push myself to get in under 4 hours....hmmmmmmm

M said...

Mario Lopez finished in 6 hours? That's incredibly slow. I'm sure you'll kick butt!

Silly Girl Running said...

@ M: Yeah, can you believe it? Almost 6 hours and he looks so fit! Well...I'll just have to kick his butt. ;)

RunningRonald said...

Je zou dit aan kunnen houden als leidraad maar ja, het hangt van zooooo veel faktoren af. Het moet gewoon allemaal meezitten op een marathon :)

http://www.chatnrun.nl/docs/tools/cnrloopcalculator.swf

Silly Girl Running said...

@ RR: Thanks! Met die rekenmachine kom ik uit tussend e 3:48 en de 3:50. Hmmmm...misschien maar niet aan tijd denken, niet op horloge kijken en gewoon gaan? Of is dat niet echt een goed idee? ;)